Thursday, 26 April 2007

Fleming resigns from ODI captaincy

The big news of the day is that Stephen Fleming has resigned from the captaincy of the New Zealand ODI side. Fleming says he wants to continue with the test captaincy and wants to play ODIs as a specialist batsman, but that he feels that he needs to concentrate on his batting and on test matches.

I had actually had a sneaking feeling all season that Fleming might retire entirely after the World Cup, so in many ways this decision came as a relief. Fleming has been an absolute corner-stone of New Zealand cricket for a decade and his loss would be hard to take. He still has a great deal to offer New Zealand and this decision will allow a graduated exit which should take advantage of his skills, while also allowing someone else (probably Dan Vettori) to step out of his shadow. Let's hope this is what happens, and that people like Adam Parore don't get their way and Fleming is discarded entirely.

One problem, I guess, is that Fleming will cast a long shadow. Few players have his stature and his continued presence may cause problems. It is all too easy to imagine an unhappy player going to Fleming for advice behind Vettori's back. This sort of thing can be very problematic and Ganguly's presence in the Dravid-led Indian side seems a very good example of how it can have a corrosive effect. I don't know whether it will be too much of a problem with New Zealand though. We certainly don't seem to be as cliquey as other sides and there is a degree of trust and openess amongst players.

Before I finish this article I want to remind you of a couple of things. Victory in the Champions Trophy in 2000 and the 3-0 crushing of Australia in this year's Chappell-Hadlee. The New Zealand ODI side under Fleming's captaincy hasn't just seen good times, it has seen some of the best.

1 comment:

Marshmallow said...

Eh, I reckon Vettori and Fleming are pretty much clones as far as captaincy is concerned anyway - I'm sure that Fleming will back Vettori just as Dion Nash did Fleming. Ganguly is more of an arrogant character; pissed off that he didn't have the captaincy, while Fleming has relinquished his captaincy voluntarily - so I don't think this'll be a problem.

Cheers Flem!